I found out in the car ride over to the children's home that it was probably best to just take her with me today. The social worker kept laughing at me because I kept saying "I want to take her with me today but is she ready? I don't want to take her if she's not ready." My driver and the social worker kept assuring me that it was best to go meet her, talk to the director of the home, and then leave with her.
Ok then. I didn't have a jacket for her (it clouded over and looked like rain). I didn't have all the toys or the gift for the children's home. I had to say "Stop worrying Self! These things don't matter!!"
I got to the home and walked inside. I was looking for her among all the little faces but didn't spot her. Until I did. She's smaller than I imagined but she had the look I had seen in all the pictures. It's one that makes me wish I could ask what she's thinking!
She came over and sat down next to me. I wanted to grab her up and kiss her. But I read too many adoption guides and heard from too many people that you are not supposed to. Except that is what the social worker I was with wanted me to do. She nicely showed me I should put her on my lap and hug her. So I did :)
She is shy, but she's got spunk. I brought an outfit and when I slipped the flip flops on for size, I felt like the prince in Cinderella when the shoe finally fits the beautiful girl he's been searching for!
Just right. They took her to put the dress on and when she came back, Little Lady modeled it for everyone. Multiple times. Like runway modeling. With the hand on the hip and the twirl at the end of the runway!! Oh I smiled. My girl has got sass and spunk!!
She was overwhelmed because she must have had 30 pairs of eyes on her and it was hectic. They got the drums out and we moved outside for singing. The whole group sang and danced. Boy can she do both! And she can boss! One child was pushing another and she stopped mid song, redirected the pusher firmly, and then joined in singing again! :) I'm telling you my girl has got sass and spunk!
I asked to see her bed next. She showed me with another social worker. I wanted to make sure she knew what was happening because I was getting the vibe it was time to go. We sat down in her bedroom (shared with 7 others) and chatted. Her voice is soft (except when singing) and very low. I asked questions and then she did, translated of course. Here are hers:
Will I get rice and chicken?
Did you bring me a ball? A dolly? A toothbrush?
Will I get a Daddy sometime?
Will we say prayers? I really like saying prayers.
Girl knows what she wants and needs! I grinned and confirmed I had indeed brought her a ball, toothbrush and a dolly! I also said that I too love prayers and Jesus. I told her that she would be safe and loved. She smiled and was happy about being loved :) Imagine that?!
I showed her her new bedroom and her eyes lit up! She pointed to the map on the wall with a huge smile, so I'm pretty sure she was saying good call on the theme mom! :)
We moved back outside where we took pictures with the director (her mom for the last year). She wanted to go with me they kept saying. She hugged them all and said goodbye like it was just another day at the office. She laughed and hugged all her friends. They said goodbye Imani. We walked out.
They let me take her with me. She's my responsibility. She's my new boss. How did this happen? A year ago I was on a cruise ship in Greece thinking about adoption and becoming a mother. Today I AM A MOTHER!
We went to eat on the way back to the guesthouse. Little Lady can eat!! Then we went to the bathroom. She giggled and played as she learned how to turn the sink on over and over again. I marveled that she would enjoy something her mother also did as a child, playing in the sink!! :). We went to the grocery store and while the social worker and driver picked out groceries (weird but so helpful) Imani and I twirled our dresses and spun through the aisles. She touched everything she could with great curiosity and marveled at the meat counter for an extra long time! She fell asleep on the way home resting her head oh my lap. :) I think she likes me.
I carried her in to my bed and she slept for the next 3 hours!! I thanked God and arraigned for this to happen every Saturday afternoon! I kid. Sort of! :) While she slept, I played with her hair, kissed her, took pictures of my sleeping beauty, checked out her feet and hands, and rubbed coconut oil on the dry spots on her head.
When she woke we ate dinner. She's a member of the clean plate club and got every piece of rice she could. She used the fork for a bit but traded it in after a while for her trusty hands. She kept the aluminum cover close to her and put it to her face several times. She could see herself in it :)
It was past 7 at this point and I was excited to change her into pjs. Oh I was so excited to see they fit perfect and she once again looked adorable!! She started feeding her dolly and bouncing the little ball. I grabbed it and tossed it back to her which she thought was great. I'm pretty sure we could have done that for hours, but because my attention span isn't as long as hers, I had Danny blow up the beach ball. Then we moved to the hallway. She giggled as we threw and kicked the ball to each other. Then we lined up water bottles and bowled. She caught on fast and I was so proud of myself for thinking of it. I showed her my toes and some nail polish. She smiled. I sat her down and painted her little toes. When I was done and closing the polish Danny laughed and said "your not done". Little Lady had her hands displayed for me to paint them! So I obliged. :)
A quick snack of peanuts (which she shared with her dolly, another thing I did as a little girl) and then teeth brushing. How wonderful to end the day with my girl giggling as she brushed her teeth with her new vibrating crayon toothbrush. :). She let me do it first and then she did it. She came back to the room and got into bed. It was almost an hour that she sucked her fingers, reorganized the blankets, played with my hair and settled down. :) I just soaked it up as she rubbed my hair like I had rubbed hers!
It's almost 4 in the morning here. Between jet lag and excitement I decided this was as good of a time as any to record my first day with my daughter. She's sleeping peacefully next to me, occasionally kicking, hitting or poking me with her little extremities as she dreams.
Today was a good day. I have lots of it on video and captured in photographs. It doesn't seem real. It went so smooth and seeing as I didn't have any expectations for it, I'm happy and content with how it went.
Thank you. You know what I need and want before I do and can voice it. You continue to amaze me as you write my story. I love this life! The people and places you bring me to are incredible.
Please keep my girl close and hear her prayers Lord! She is so small but she is so mighty! I'm so elated that you chose me to be her mom and while I know it was born from loss, I will continue to rejoice for this little life you put in my path. Thank You for this beautiful shy soul that has so much potential. I will nurture her and I will need you to do that best! Please guide me, teach me, and use me as an example of Your ways.